Business Objects Enterprise: Java or .NET?

There are a lot of factors that will come into play in deciding how to deploy your Business Objects XI R2 application, that is to say in the decision whether to deploy InfoView in the Java (Apache Tomcat, WebLogic) or .NET (IIS) flavor. There will be many reasons such as available skillsets, technical familiarity, web server restrictions, etc. However, there may be one factor you are not considering… future functionality support!

Another Win for Java

At one point in time Business Objects, the company that is, announced that they would maintain all future released functionality of Business Objects XI in both the .NET and the Java flavor. However, sometime in 2007 it appears that BusinessObjects went back on this commitment. Probably due to the less-than-booming economy BO was faced to make a difficult choice and because of the overwhelming popularity of Java among BO’s customers, the decision was made to focus all of the product roadmap’s enhancements first on Java.

BO’s Stepchild: .NET and IIS

Therefore I suggest you consider this point carefully when making a decision to deploy InfoView on .NET. If you choose to do so you are ignoring the fact that Business Objects is playing favorites. If you select .NET you are selecting the stepchild. Don’t expect enhancements and fixes to be as readily available for your .NET platform as they are and will be for Java. You don’t believe me? Well go ahead and try to install Business Objects XI 3.0 on IIS and .NET. Not going to happen, at least supposedly not until sometime in the second half on 2008. That’s my point and it is just the beginning.

Business Objects XI R2 Java AND .NET?

With Business Objects XI R2 it is possible to actually run both platforms at the same time on IIS and Apache Tomcat, although most BO administrators would probably want to avoid this. However, if you require and SDK interface and you have no Java developers then do you really have a choice? Honestly, many BO administrators are doing this with BOXI R2 and so I would not want to discourage you if you have no other choice.

In the end this is your decision. We just want to be sure that you have this little bit of extra input. We would hate to hear of anyone else having to spend hundreds of person hours moving from the .NET platform to the Java platform because they didn’t know what they were getting in to. Its not that much work to switch you say? The rework can range from SDK rewrites to OpenDocument.aspx updates across every single report that uses OpenDocument. Make your choice wisely, what more can we say?

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4 thoughts on “Business Objects Enterprise: Java or .NET?

  1. Hi Julian,

    thank you for your analyse and advise.
    I have a critical problem to solve.
    In a hand, We have a custom infoview java application (standard portal with specific calculation and treatment written with java SDK).
    In an other hand, we have a standard .net Infoview portal that is the BO portal deployed in the company which is acceded by users.

    We need :
    1. users continue tu access to the standard .net portal as unique access point
    2. to display webi docs that use specific java treatments through custom infoview java

    We think to use opendoc.jsp from .net infoview portal to do it.
    What do you think?
    Would you have a better idea?

    Thank for your answer


  2. Hi Sébastien,

    I’m glad you found the article useful, thank you for your feedback.

    You pose a very interesting dilemma. I like your proposal of using OpenDocument calls to meet both requirements; simple and economical. However, how will you prevent users from accessing via Java?

    Perhaps you could use a very hard to guess port for your Java web server and try to launch all OpenDocument calls with the address bar removed in the resulting window. This might stop most users for saving a short-cut to InfoView on your Java web server.

    What do you think?

  3. I have been running the .Net Enterprise version since BOE XI R1. I was reluctant to change (being versed in VS.NET) but I have now switched to the Java due to the increased stability it seems to offer. This did require many changes to enterprise reports, including enabling Kerberos – which has to be done for AD Authenticaton with Java. I had to log several calls with SAP to facilitate the change to the Tomcat Java server.

    Hopefully it will solve the .Net issues, but it does look better so far.


  4. Hi,
    Is .net SDK part of BO XI R2 or its a seperate installable package? I am trying to install BO XI R2 SharePoint 2007 portal integration kit, but it keep asking for .net sdk. I installed BO XI R2 on server, but not sure if it contains .net SDK or not. Any tips or help will be useful.


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